Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Meet Eliran Sasson, a young Israeli who recently fulfilled a dream he has had since he was a little boy – owning a motorcycle and biking.

At 23, Eliran is an excellent “master barista” at a fabulous neighborhood coffee shop in Jerusalem. (Shosh Café, Rh. Haserut 20). He is a bass guitarist, having played in several bands, and an aspiring engineer (soon to begin his studies program), but his heart, at the moment, is with his first motorcycle – a very cool “naked road bike.”

I have to admit, when I first heard the term “naked bike” I thought it must be some cute Israeli term, but it turns out that it is a universal word for a bike without metal covering over the various engine & exhaust parts – in other words a bike stripped down to the basics for performance and efficiency.

This long time dream to own a motorbike came to fruition a few months ago, when Eliran secretly began to take lessons towards getting his motorcycle license. (Mothers sometimes don’t want their sons to be bikers!) But soon Eliran’s secret was out in the open, and things quickly progressed from just wanting the license to actually searching for and purchasing that first bike.

Hoping to take mechanics courses designed for motorbike function and repair, Eliran is serious about this new/old love in his life.

I asked him what it was about biking that he loved and his answer was that when he rides the motorcycle, he feels one with the bike, like they are together a unit. He can see everything and feel the wind…it’s a bit like riding a horse, he said. He also likes it that there are fewer traffic and parking problems than when driving a car. Eliran would like to form a group of riders to ride together and tour the country.

Like all Israelis, Eliran served in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces – army). He was in the artillery corps. And, like most Israelis, after army duty he traveled for a while outside the country. He and some friends went to London where they lived and worked with other Israelis - not at the kiosks selling Dead Sea products, a very popular occupation for traveling Israelis - but for an Israeli entrepreneur who owns a network of food and coffee shops in various London neighborhoods. Orly, the name of the entrepreneur and also the name of her coffee shop, bakery and other places, offers a popular stopover for Israelis in London, and Eliran plied his skill at coffee making there.

I asked Eliran why he chose London when a lot of Israelis travel to India and Thailand and other eastern destinations. He said that his friend had been there a few times, and in Eliran’s words, “had a crush on the place”. Encouraging him to join with him and travel there, Eliran agreed and also "fell in love with the place" – the culture, the architecture, the people.

When he isn’t making coffee and riding his bike, Eliran stays tuned into his music…playing progressive rock with friends, doing a few gigs, and trying to put together a new band.

Some things will change as Eliran begins his studies this summer, but his devotion to biking is a lifetime love affair.

What are his dreams for the future? Eliran pondered my question and then said this: “The long time future is far away…I am concentrating on the immediate future for now… and then I will go wherever life takes me.”

The future in Israel is sometimes uncertain, and life can bring many things. Her young men and women understand this, responding like Eliran did, with wisdom and assurance.

It’s a privilege to know Eliran, and to know that he represents others like him, young men and women who are the future of Israel. Israel is in good hands.

And…I’m waiting until he gets an extra helmet, because I want to take a ride on this bike and feel the wind.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Tree and the Sea

The Tree
This is one of the beautiful trees that escaped the tree-hacking terrorists from the Iryia (Preoccupied, March 5 posting). The tree shown escaped being cut down last winter because it was on private property...AND - lucky me - is right outside my window!!!

The Sea
I had to go to Tel Aviv today. I hadn't been since last fall and oh my gosh, did I need it!!
(well, I DID have a meeting)

Here's where I spent my day today. (after the meeting!) Swimming prohibited for some reason...early season, no life guards, pollution??

Still ..the breeze, the sun....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sunny Afternoons & Spring Flowers -

Wandering through my neighborhood this afternoon, I came upon cascades of yellow flowers and intoxicating fragrances filling the air.

The truth is....we feel a little like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop...so, when there is even a small thing to divert our attention...... why not enjoy it.